President says pray at home, don’t pay idiots at church

President Rodrigo Duterte is urging Filipinos to pray at home instead of going to church.

“When someone is baptised, you have to pay…when someone dies, you have to pay,” he says.

“Build your own chapel in your own house and pray there. You don’t have to go to church to pay for these idiots,” he is reported to have said.

Duterte’s slighting comments follow months of putdowns targeting the Church and senior clergy.

Last week, for example, Duterte accused Filipino Bishop Pablo Virgilio David (a vocal critic of Duterte-sanctioned drug-related killings in the Philippines) of giving church donations to his own family. He offered no supporting evidence for his accusation.

David denies Duterte’s accusations. “People who are sick sometimes do not know what they are talking about,” he says.

This week, Duterte says he thinks David might be into drugs.

“I’m telling you, David. I wonder why he goes around in the evening. I suspect that he might be into drugs,” he said.

Reacting to Duterte’s statement, David posted on Facebook: “No sir, I’m not into drugs of any sort, whether legal or illegal. Never been.

“I only help in rehabilitating people addicted to drugs … Thank God I am not even taking any maintenance drugs yet.

“I only take vitamins with fruit shake blended (with moringa) in the morning. You might want to try it, sir. It will do you a lot of good. God bless you.”

Filipino Bishop Arturo Bastes says people should disregard the president’s statement.

“Every Filipino with the right mind should only ignore this nonsense,” Bishop Bastes said. “I don’t want to comment on this crazy idea. I am tired of his stupid remarks.”

Bishop Ruperto Santos of Balanga said the president’s statement is “very irresponsible and heartless” and could sow division.

Earlier this week Duterte lambasted the bishops for believing in an “archaic” church that is good only at making money.

“The Catholic Church and Bishop David are clinging to a belief 3,000 years ago,” he said. “How can people 3,000 years ago predict what is happening today?”

Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo of Manilla said Duterte’s ranting “will have no effect.”


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News category: World.

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